What thoughts and beliefs could be holding you back from becoming all that you can be?
Bridging the biggest gap: the gap between who you are and who you are capable of being
(New to this series? Start here.)
It’s not a pleasant sensation I conjure up when I try to imagine living in a junkyard, foraging in a dumpster or garbage heap for my next meal. I try to feel what it would be like looking out from my junkyard home across “the gap,” seeing others on the far side living in real houses and buying real food in the grocery store. There are, I know, many, many, many people for whom this is literally their reality. Very often, an unescapable reality. I’ve been fortunate that fate didn’t impose this life circumstance on me. Having a clean, dry, safe place to sleep and never experiencing stomach pangs beyond those of a worked-up appetite for a healthy meal are blessings for which I am immensely grateful.
However, in my world of materialistic privilege, I recall a time of living in a mental junkyard. I can see myself there as I’m writing this, living amongst the rubbish of my debilitating beliefs (I’m not enough), self-sabotaging thoughts (you’ll fail if you try) and behaviours (do nothing). My then-self is attempting to find sustenance in the scraps of other people’s expectations, validation and approval. I’m feeling the hunger pangs of un-realness, worthlessness and disconnectedness as I look out from my junk-strewn place, across the gap, to where I envision myself satiated with peace of mind and happiness.
I’ve read that you achieve that nirvana when you live purposefully as your authentic self. But I just don’t get it.
It’s hellish, living on the wrong side of the gap. I’m stuck, stuck, stuck standing here yet again, looking across at what I might be. The gap between here and there? Sure looks like fate to me. Circumstances, karma, things beyond my control. I could be over there if only he didn’t drink so much, if only I’d gotten the promotion, if only I had more willpower, if only I had her luck, if only I had more money, if only I didn’t catch the bad breaks, if only I didn’t have to work full time while raising my kids, if only I was likeable…
And then something awesome happens.
One grey day, poor me is sitting there on my pity-pot with a particularly bad case of blame-and-shame diarrhea. Then, without warning, a brick falls from the sky—in the form of a self-help book called “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie. And it hits me, smack dab on the top of my mind.
This brick knocks me sense-full! It cracks open my mind and in seeps the notion that the sure-fire (and only) way to change my life is to change me; specifically, change my beliefs, my thoughts spawned by my beliefs and my behaviours induced by my beliefs and thoughts. Wow!
With the stars still spinning from the blow to my noggin, I’m feeling the first tingling of—what is it?—freedom! I haven’t felt it in years—not since I was the free-roaming, self-loving, real little kid who hadn’t yet allowed herself to be corralled and “broken” by the expectations of family, society, learning institutions, religion, culture… Woohoo! I have the power inside of me to change my life! Adrenalin charged, I vehemently kick my pity-pot over the edge, into the chasm of the gap.
And then, I excitedly lay the brick of self-change at the edge of the gap. I sense this is the start of my building a way across. I’m on the lookout, searching fervidly for more building bricks falling from the sky.
Truth be told, I don’t even really know what bricks I’m looking out for. But now with clearer vision that I attribute to the blow of the first brick, I start to notice them. Bricks of self-awareness, self-worth, self-respect, self-compassion and self-confidence. All made, as I come to know, from the indestructible clay of self-love. My excitement mounts as I collect these unfcukwithable, self-love bricks!
It’s going to be one helluva bridge across the gap between who I am now and who I’m capable of being.
Who knows what difference I can begin to make as I become my fully-empowered, love-generating, authentic self—what change I can be in this world where too many people live with hunger and homelessness, literally and figuratively. I think of a passage from an unknown source: The gap between what we do and what we’re capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.
What one self-love “brick” might you start setting in place to begin closing the gap between the “now” you and the “living-fully” you?
If you intuitively know you have something to offer, but haven’t closed the gap from knowing to offering, I invite you to read Part 3 to hear how actualizing the components of self-love bridges the gap and enables you to become all you’re capable of being.